We've just been given our best look yet at the Knights of Ren in The Rise of Skywalker. We've known for some time now that the mysterious figures that were only briefly teased in The Force Awakens would finally be coming to the fold in proper fashion in the upcoming finale to this sequel trilogy. While much remains mysterious, a new magazine cover provides us with the entire group gathered together with their leader, Kylo Ren.

Empire Magazine recently revealed its series of four collector's edition covers for its upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker issue. The most revealing of these covers has Kylo Ren front-and-center, with his newly-repaired helmet on. Standing behind him, three on each side, are the infamous Knights of Ren. All of them are also masked and decked out in black, boasting various weaponry. We've seen glimpses of the group before, but seeing them all together like this easily provides the best official look to date.

Unfortunately, it's only just a look. The names of these figures, how they became associated with Kylo Ren, where they come from or where they've been during the events of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi remains secretive. The only time we've seen the characters on screen was during Rey's Force dream in Episode VII when she found Luke's lightsaber as Maz's palace. Ever since, fans have been fascinated with them and have been dying to know more. Rian Johnson opted not to include them in The Last Jedi, but director J.J. Abrams is back and he's revisiting the figures in the final chapter of the Skywalker saga.

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The other covers are a mixed bag, much like we saw in the latest Star Wars 9 character posters. One of them focuses on the core of the Resistance and the main characters from this trilogy, including Rey, Finn, Rose, Chewie, and BB-8, who are joined by newcomer Jannah, played by Naomi Ackie. One of the other Resistance-heavy covers features Leia, who is joined by Billy Dee Williams' Land Calrissian, making his return for the first time since Return of the Jedi. They're joined by Poe Dameron, C-3PO and R2-D2. The final cover sees an image that teases the return of Palpatine, who looms large in the background, with a lightsaber that is a blend of Kylo's and Rey's, glowing red and blue, out front.

While much of the plot for Episode IX is being kept under wraps, we know this will be the end of the main story that George Lucas started all of those years ago in 1977. What will the future of the franchise look like? We know for sure a movie is dated for 2022, but what story that movie will tell is up in the air for the time being. But before we can look to the future, we need to see how things shake out between the Resistance and the First Order. Empire for yourself.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott